FIBA Europe wins legal battle against Euroleague

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FIBA Euroleague basketball action
FIBA Euroleague basketball action
FIBA Euroleague basketball action
FIBA Euroleague basketball action

The FIBA Europe division of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has confirmed that Euroleague Properties, a subsidiary of Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA), has been ordered to pay €900,000 ($1m) plus interest concerning a legal case surrounding a long-running dispute over club competitions on the continent.

Following reports in Spanish newspaper El Pais, FIBA Europe yesterday (Monday) confirmed that on June 16 it received the ruling of the Luxembourg Commercial Court, ordering Euroleague Properties to pay FIBA Europe the sum, plus an indemnification of €1,500 and to bear all costs of the proceedings.

In its decision, which may be appealed by either party, FIBA Europe said the court found that the contract between FIBA Europe and Euroleague Properties came to an end in January 2015. The fees awarded in favour of Fiba Europe cover the period between 2012 and 2015, while no fees are due after that date.

The court also ruled that the introduction of the new Fiba calendar did not represent a breach of contract by Fiba Europe, although this was the stated reason for Euroleague Properties’ decision to refuse payment between 2012 and 2015.

In 2004, Fiba Europe and the Union of European Leagues of Basketball (ULEB) signed a contract regulating the organisation of club competitions in Europe. Since 2010, Euroleague Properties had been responsible for ULEB’s obligation to pay the annual fee of €400,000 to Fiba Europe. Euroleague Properties sought to terminate the agreement in December 2012 citing the announced change to the Fiba calendar as of 2017.

Fiba and Euroleague Basketball had long been at loggerheads over their respective visions for club basketball in Europe. In July 2016 Fiba said that Euroleague Properties and ECA ended German court proceedings relating to their ongoing dispute.

Fiba Europe earlier welcomed a decision by a regional court in Munich to lift a temporary injunction that barred basketball’s governing body in Europe from imposing sanctions on national federations, leagues and clubs that teamed up with Euroleague Basketball.

In May 2016 a group of Euroleague and Eurocup clubs, domestic leagues and Euroleague Basketball took action at the Munich regional court amid perceived threats and pressure from Fiba, Fiba Europe and national federations over rival proposals for the future of club competitions on the continent.

Fiba Europe warned the national associations about their links with Euroleague Basketball, which currently oversees the Euroleague and Eurocup continental club competitions, while Fiba launched its own Champions League competition in 2016-17.

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